Monday, January 28, 2019

I overtipped

I am no good at math. Never have been. Sunday, it cost me. I took Kathy out for her birthday lunch. We went to my favorite Italian bistro. We both had the lasagna, and the waiter noticed we were celebrating and brought us a big slice of chocolate cake.

The final bill was $53. I had a $20 coupon, and left $50 in cash. Which means I tipped more than 30%. SHIT! I didn't mean to do that! I think I probably should have left $65, not $70.

Oh, well. It all evens out. First of all, with the bitter cold, the restaurant was doing little business. So in reality, that $5 might have meant more to the server than to me.

And Kathy's present was a freebie. My agency bought a gazillion copies of this book, signed by the author, to give as holiday gifts to clients and vendors back in Christmas 2008. When we were packing for our office move in 2018, I saw a pristine copy in the "FREE TO GOOD HOME" bin and thought of Kathy. Naturally all of us in Chicago are proud of our favorite son -- especially in comparison with the petulant agent of chaos who followed him -- but Kathy really loooooves Barack Obama. So I snatched the signed coffee table book and squirreled it away, just for this weekend.

She loved the book and hugged me a lot. So I think I shall just consider the $5 my gift to the universe, and the day as a success.

Go see it!

This weekend, I saw Stan and Ollie, and loved it! I'm only slightly aware of Laurel and Hardy. My oldest friend loved to watch their TV show* when we were little kids and would scratch her head and say, "I'm sorry, Ollie." But there, you now know everything about them that I knew when I put my butt in the seat.

But it's an enormously charming film, even for those of us who are not immersed in the pair's films. It takes place in the 1950s, long after their heyday. They are, frankly, broke and need work, so they go to England and do live shows. Hardy's health and their relationship have both been better.

I enjoyed seeing how seriously they took their craft. I appreciated how tender they were with their fans, especially the newly-minted young ones. At one point, Hardy loses his temper on a street corner and destroys a newspaper, shoving it in a trash can. Then he sees a group of schoolgirls witnessed his unseemly behavior. He immediately recovered, fiddled with his tie and conveyed to the kids that it was all a big joke, done for their benefit. Instead of being disillusioned, the girls were delighted.

Do yourself a favor and spend some time with Stan and Ollie. You will enjoy it, I promise.

*Which, it turns out, wasn't a TV show at all, but edited versions of their movies. They were not paid for these airings, which is fucking criminal.